|问题"大"了 The Problem Is Big|
|http://www.sina.com.cn 2004/06/09 15:34 英语广场|
“They called me Kwamemelon in school. I got picked last during recess, no matter what the sport. I was just too big. I couldn't move. It got so I almost hated myself. I couldn't look at myself in the mirror.”
—Kwame Harris offensive tackle1
More kids than ever are overweight. We'll tell you about the crisis, offer some solutions.
Sound familiar? You might know a kid who feels just like Kwame. Maybe you feel the same way. It's no surprise2. In the past 20 years, the number of 6-to-11-year-olds with weight problems has doubled and the number of 12-to-19-year-olds with weight problems has tripled3. Kids today are well on their way to becoming the heaviest generation in history.
Medical experts call the problem an epidemic4, the same word they use to describe the outbreak of a deadly virus. It's a major issue. If we don't do something, it's just going to get worse. It's a real, real worry.
Being overweight as a kid could cause you to have serious health problems as you get older. Extra pounds make your heart work much harder to pump blood through your body and can lead to heart disease. Heavy adults are also more likely to suffer a stroke5, in which a blood vessel6 expands or bursts inside the brain.
But overweight kids are also in danger now. They are more likely than healthy kids to develop Type II Diabetes7, an illness that can lead to blindness. And the heavier you are, the more strain8 you put on your hips, knees, and ankles. That can make it painful to exercise or play sports. If you're overweight, you've probably been told this scary stuff 9 a million times and are sick of10 hearing it. But even if you don't have a big weight problem, it pays to get in shape11. Doctors say that controlling your weight will make you feel better and help you be a better athlete.
Stuffing Our Faces
There's no mystery about why some kids get fat. For a few, it may be in their family's genes. If your mom or dad is fat, chances are12 you may be too. Other kids gorge on13 food when they're feeling upset or sad or even bored. Think how happy you feel when you dig into14 your favorite dessert.
But experts say there are specific reasons for the current weight epidemic. Over the past 20 to 25 years, our lifestyles have changed—for the worse. People are eating more unhealthy foods, and exercising less. Here's why:
* Fast-food restaurants have multiplied15. Fast food is convenient but not always healthy.
* Gym classes are failing. You get little exercise in phys-ed16 class. Another problem: Many school districts have cut back on17 the number of gym classes to make time for more academic classes.
* Kids are glued18 to their couches. Today's boys and girls are not as physically active as kids were 10-20 years ago. The average kid watches TV up to 24 hours every week. Those hours don't include the time kids spend playing video games, watching DVDs, or playing on the computer.
* Mom and Dad are overworked. Busy parents often don't have time to prepare dinner every night. Even if they have time, well-meaning19 parents may not know how to prepare healthy meals.
What You Can Do
It's not always easy to control your weight. It takes willpower20 and changes in your eating habits and downtime21 activities. You also need support from your family. Tell Mom and Dad what's up22. Parents should be responsible for the choices of what their children eat. Kids can tell parents how important physical activity is and play grounds and ball fields.
Low-fat foods are generally better for you. But that doesn't mean you have to give up all high-fat foods. Everyone craves23 a bag of chips every once in a while. Try and limit how often you eat high-fat foods. One trick to portion24 control is to make a tight fist. Don't eat anything larger than that. Nor should you drink more than what would fit into a tall drinking glass. Kids often gobble up25 snacks without thinking—or even tasting them—while sitting around. We suggest you put a handful of chips in a cereal bowl, put the bag away, and enjoy what you're tasting.
Next, use the activities chart to think about different ways to get your body moving. Almost any activity is good, experts say, but some benefit you more than other.
Finally, take pride in the small victories. If you lose a few pounds and find yourself suddenly dribbling around26 a defender who used to stuff your shot, that's cool.
Kwame Harris is glad he stuck with his diet. At 6'7'', he's naturally a big man. He shed27 40 pounds before his first year at university. “There's still a tug of war28 going on inside of me,” says Harris. “Sometimes I still binge on29 food and fall off my program. But then I think, You don＇t have to be this way. It＇s in your power to change.”
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